This chapter of our lives is going to be largely illustrated by staying at home, which means we will get drawn into more inactivity, and then there is the danger of slipping into new, more sedentary routines. However, we are here to help, with Five Ways to Stay Active During Lockdown!
- Organise a phone call or facetime with a friend
Face to face conversation is invaluable for our health and wellbeing, but unfortunately it isn’t possible at the moment (excluding with housemates). For this reason video calls are great, but phone calls are good too if preferred.
Why this will help you increase your step count is because we want you to stand up and lightly walk around the room whilst taking a call. This will mean you are performing activity without really thinking about it, which in turn will make it seem like less of a chore.
The same goes for work calls if it is appropriate to do so. Get off your bum, pop in your earphones, and walk around whilst taking the call, video call or zoom meeting! We also find this is useful to avoid heavy eyelids when talking to your superiors, as it allows better focus and less chance of falling asleep compared to sitting!
- Tag movement on to a daily habit!
Consistency with an action, and therefore establishing it as a habit, is achieved far more easily by tagging your desired action onto another existing habit. Examples of existing habits could be making yourself a cup of tea or coffee, getting a glass of water, or going to the loo.
Movement based habits you can add to making a brew whilst the kettle boils are:
- Push ups
- Calf raises
- Star jumps
- Combining all the above!
This means that is you make 5 cups of tea in a day, you might add 100 reps of squats to your day too, which will have benefits beyond burning a few calories, including; maintaining technique, increasing blood flow, boosting alertness and energy levels, etc.
You could also try deep breathing here, by adding 5 ‘box breaths’ to your squats, whilst your kettle is boiling:
- Breathe in for 3 seconds on the descent
- Hold your breath and the base of the squat for 3 seconds
- Inhale for 3 seconds on the ascent
- Hold the peak of the squat and your breath for 3 seconds
- Repeat x 5
- Go for a walk or a jog!
This is nice and simple, and unless you are currently in a household where you are self-isolating due to symptoms, or shielding for 12 weeks, it is highly accessible, free and gets you out into nature for some much needed fresh air.
If you live in an area where you will have to do some tactical social distancing on pavements and walkways before you can get into an open area like a park to start your run, then we advise you to walk to this area. We run frequently in our local parks, so know how heavy our breathing can get when your mouth is hanging open!
You do not have to run, as even a brisk walk is great for mind and body, as is marching back from the shops with some bags for life or even a weighted backpack. Run-walk-run intervals are also great for beginner runners, or those returning from injury.
What you can do to try and at least match your previous non-exercise activity before lockdown began, is to track your daily steps. Use this time outside to get the majority of your daily steps in, before consciously considering movement when you are indoors!
- Volunteering within your local community
Currently government and local councils are looking for volunteers to help serve and protect self-isolating, vulnerable and shielding families and individuals. This is obviously a personal decision for you, which you need to strongly consider for a multitude of reasons, including consulting housemates. However, if you feel you are in a good position to help out in this time of need, then volunteering with things like shopping and picking up prescriptions will increase your step count and your mood, whilst also getting you outside.
The GoodSam app is the smartphone application required to volunteer for the NHS, and apps like NextDoor and Facebook have been great for pulling volunteers together too. Please follow the government guidelines regarding this point, as the situation is fluid, and lockdown restrictions may change day-to-day.
Studies have shown that you get far more benefit to your mental health from helping others, than you do from buying material goods. So next time you are feeling at a loss, why not consider having a social media holiday, and volunteering your time to friends, family or those in need? You’ll be surprised how much it can boost your overall mood and wellbeing!
- Home workouts!
These can be just as gruelling as your gym workouts, and can be done in much cooler outfits like your pants and slippers, and there are sofas to sit on between exercises too! To make them as challenging as gym workouts manipulating the amount of reps, the speed of the reps, the amount and combination of exercises, and aspects like isometric holds and shorter rests are all great.
As we know, home workouts can get repetitive, thus making them hard to motivate yourself for; some accountability is a good bit of added motivation! Our Cutting and Bikini Guides have full home workout programmes, with every workout laid out for you for up to 20 weeks (with a full gym workout programme too). You can get family members in on the action too, meaning the likelihood of training frequently increases further!
If you cannot afford any more expenditures at a time like this, we have lots of free home workouts on our social media, and within this blog. We still suggest getting a housemate involved, and even friends and family via facetime will work well, and may both increase both the intensity and enjoyment of your training from home!
We wish you all good health over this period, and we want to reiterate once again that you should stay up to date with the government advice for your specific situation, and to discount any of our suggestions above if they go against government advice, or are not safe for you and those close to you.
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